Dodgers pitcher Bobby Miller will finally begin his 2023 season this week, penciled in to start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday, per OKC play-by-play broadcaster Alex Freedman.
Couple of notable items from OKC today:— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) April 25, 2023
-Bobby Miller has arrived. First start tentatively scheduled for Friday, but weather forecast throughout the week is iffy.
-Jimmy Nelson is also in town and will begin a rehab assignment tonight.#Dodgers
The Dodgers slow-played Miller — their consensus top pitching prospect entering the season — during spring training, as the right-hander didn’t pitch in a Cactus League game after coming into camp with a sore right shoulder. Miller, who jumped from 66⅓ innings in 2021 to 112⅓ innings last year, joins Oklahoma City four weeks into their season.
Player of the day
Nick Frasso continued his strong April, striking out a season-high eight in five innings for Tulsa on Tuesday afternoon, allowing only a run on three hits.
The right-hander walked nobody on Tuesday, and through four starts this season has 26 strikeouts (a 36.1-percent rate) against only three walks in 18 innings, allowing three total runs, never more than one in any start.
Eight strikeouts are Frasso’s most in a game since joining the Dodgers last August 2. His career high is 10 strikeouts, in a start last July 4 for Vancouver, the Blue Jays’ High-A affiliate. Frasso also struck out eight in a game last May 14 for Low-A Dunedin.
A fun fact from the Drillers: Tuesday was Frasso’s first win as a professional. It was his last win since March 17, 2019 with Loyola Marymount.
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Three runs in the ninth inning gave Oklahoma City a victory over the Sacramento River Cats (Giants), the fourth walk-off win in 10 home games this year for OKC.
Down a pair in the ninth, Oklahoma City loaded the bases with one out. Ben DeLuzio tied things with a two-run single. After an intentional walk of Bradley Zimmer — who had three hits — to load the bases, Devin Mann made Sacramento pay with a walk-off single to left.
That's your ballgame!— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) April 26, 2023
For the fourth time in 10 home games, the Dodgers walk it off! Devin Mann with the game-winning hit! pic.twitter.com/fm7AC70Xuo
James Jones pitched two scoreless innings in relief with two strikeouts. Jahmai Jones had two hits, including a two-bagger.
Back in the zone
The idea of Jimmy Nelson pitching again in the majors became more tangible on Tuesday as he started his rehab assignment with Oklahoma City. He pitched a scoreless sixth inning, after allowing a walk and single to his first two batters. Nelson struck out one and threw 10 of his 16 pitches for strikes.
The latter is impressive, not just because this was Nelson’s first game that counted since July 30, 2021, missing a year and a half after Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair. But also because during spring training, Nelson could not find the strike zone, walking 11 of his 24 batters faced in six exhibition outings.
The Drillers followed Frasso with four scoreless innings out of the bullpen in a road win over the Arkansas Travelers (Mariners). The start of the day game was delayed 44 minutes by rain.
Jordan Leasure worked around a hit, walk, and a wild pitch in the eighth by striking out three. John Rooney got the save with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth.
With two outs and runners at the corners in a tie game in the sixth, Tulsa executed a double steal, with Jorbit Vivas stealing home and Jonny DeLuca stealing home to give the Drillers the lead for good. Tulsa also scored a run on a wild pitch.
Vivas extended his season-opening hit streak to 16 games.
Imanol Vargas homered to continue his quietly hot start. The Drillers first baseman has four home runs, tied for second on the team, with an 1.135 OPS and has more walks (13) than strikeouts (11). Jose Ramos added an insurance home run in the ninth.
In many minor league levels, the manager also serves as the third base coach. This led Arkansas play-by-play broadcaster Steven Davis to notice a particular skill of Drillers manager Scott Hennessy during the Tuesday broadcast.
“I will dare say that Scott Hennessy is the Patrick Mahomes of third base coaches in handing out souvenirs to fans,” Davis said during the top of the seventh inning. “He could put one on the money on a deep ball any time he wants.”
High-A Great Lakes
Down two runs in the seventh, Yunior Garcia tied things with a two-run home run, then Jake Vogel hit a two-run double in the eighth to lift the Loons over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres).
Starter Ronan Kopp struck out five of his 14 batters faced, but also needed 61 pitches to record only eight outs. After striking out the first two batters of the third inning, Kopp allowed a walk, triple, and a single to end his night, allowing two runs.
Great Lakes got 6⅓ scoreless innings from the bullpen, with Robbie Peto doing the heavy lifting with four strikeouts in three innings. Jake Pilarski pitched a scoreless ninth inning with a walk and a strikeout for his fifth save.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Maddux Bruns and Chris Campos continued their piggyback stinginess with a combined five scoreless innings to begin the Quakes’ win over the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels). Bruns started Tuesday and recored eight outs, striking out four, allowing two walks and a single. Campos followed with seven outs and three strikeouts, allowing two singles.
Bruns and Campos have pitched in the same game in each of their four outings this season, and have yet to allow a run. Bruns, the Dodgers’ first-round draft pick in 2021, has 23 strikeouts and seven walks in his 14 innings this season. Campos has 14 strikeouts and four walks in 10⅔ innings.
Rayne Doncon, playing third base on Tuesday, homered in the win, his fourth of the year. Doncon had two hits, as did first baseman Dayton Dooney, who doubled.
Triple-A: Michael Busch got the call to the majors. Corner man Justin Yurchak was activated off the developmental list. Jake Reed cleared waivers after getting designated for assignment on Saturday, and was sent outright to Oklahoma City. Jimmy Nelson began a rehab assignment.
- Oklahoma City 5, Sacramento 4
- Tulsa 4, Arkansas 1
- Great Lakes 4, Fort Wayne 2
- Rancho Cucamonga 3, Inland Empire 1
- 3:35 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Ben Casparius) at Fort Wayne (Garrett Hawkins)
- 4:35 p.m.: Tulsa (Kyle Hurt) at Arkansas (Emerson Hancock)
- 5:05 p.m.: Oklahoma City (William Cuevas) vs. Sacramento (TBD)
- 6:35 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Peter Heubeck) at Inland Empire (Jake Madden)